As Dave and I plan our trip to Ireland, I said to him, I'd love to hire a photographer and have some nice photos taken of us in Dublin. As we got closer to booking this, I felt a bit self conscious, I've gained so much weight and just don't feel myself when I look in photos. I have been ‘debating’ diets for years now… by debating, I mean I hear about one, then get bored of it before I even start. I have the deadline set, with just 75 days left to go, It's time to take back my body and get rid of the weight.
I’ve looked into Weight Watchers, thought briefly about the Beach Body ‘group challenges’, but that’s rally all I did, was think about it. Recently, I’ve been seeing so much online about the Ketogenic Diet (Keto). I haven’t really stopped thinking about it since learning about it. I’m one week into it, and although I joke about dreaming of carbs, I’m really not missing it. (not even the beer!)
First things first, I’m sure you’re asking (keep in mind, I’m not an expert, talk do your doctor if you aren’t sure if Keto is right for you):
What Is a Keto Diet?
A Ketogenic Diet is focused on a high-fat diet, moderate protein and very low carb diet. The diet was originally established to treat epilepsy in children. Your body is forced to burn fat rather than carbs. A keto diet is only possible if you eliminate carbs, inclusive of breads, standard flour, fruits, alcohol and many more things. Honestly, it’s easier than it sounds… this coming from the person who couldn’t resist having at least a drink or two a night!
The Breakdown (Macros)
This was the part that overwhelmed me. I wasn’t sure how I would ever be able to track things properly. There are so many Keto calculators online that you can use. I used one on the KetoDiet App (which I totally recommend you download, it has made this so easy!), which broke down exactly how many carbs, proteins, fats, and calories I should be having. It tracks my food intake and allows me to enter all the ingredients of a meal in order to create an accurate count of what I’m consuming. Based on this calculator, depending on your goals and current BMI, your diet should be 60-75% Fat, 15-30% protein and 5-10% carbs. Carbs are measured in net carbs, not total carbs.
What are net carbs?
Not all carbs are created equal. Net Carbs are the carbs remaining once you subtract the carbs from fiber and half the sugar alcohols.
I would say this was the most surprising part for me. I didn’t realize quite how many carbs were in everything, and how many carbs you eat in a day. For example, two slices of white bread (over 22g of net carbs) would push you so close to your daily limit. Even certain veggies and fruits have high carb counts, something you should watch as you’re getting started in your Keto journey.
I’d say there have been a few challenges in the last week. Most people describe it as the Keto Flu, when your body starts to go through a bit of a sugar withdrawal and plays some tricks on you. I had a lot of trouble focusing and my brain just felt like it wasn’t working, I’ve had some minor headaches, and a day or two of feeling like I was absolutely starved. Because we rely so heavily on carbs in our diets, any time I feel ‘hungry’ my go to is something like bread or toast, a sandwich, that was my idea of filling. I’ve found a few things that help with this, the first being fat bombs. Sounds weird right? There are so many recipes for these on pinterest, not only can you find something on the sweet side, but the use of dairy and fat in some filled me right up! The other is just dairy on its own. One day we played our baseball game, came home and I felt like I hadn’t eaten in days. I made some lettuce wrapped ‘tacos’ with a dollop of full fat sour cream, and felt immediately full.
It hasn’t been a really easy start, however I’ll admit I’m thrilled by the fact that the scale is already down 6 lbs, and we did a hardcore cheat day as we had tickets to a beer festival on Friday. If it weren’t for that, I think I would have seen even more progress already.
Have you struggled with any diets or thought about trying something new? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below! OR if you’re thinking about trying out keto and have some questions, please let me know, I’d be happy to try to help! Keep in mind, I’m not expert and this is just what I’ve learned from a few weeks of research and one week of putting everything into practice.